Writing Music for the Stage - A Practical Guide for Theatremakers

Writing Music for the Stage - A Practical Guide for Theatremakers $22.50

Michael Bruce

Published by Nick Hern Books

The definitive guide to writing music for the stage ...

Music has played a vital part in drama since the earliest days of theatre

For composers, writing music for the stage is an opportunity to exercise their utmost creativity and versatility

A good musical score will both support and enhance the play it serves, and can lift a prosaic moment into something quite extraordinary

In this book, Michael Bruce takes you through the entire process from initial preparation, through composition, rehearsals and recording, and finally to performance

He covers everything a composer needs to know, including:

Getting started spotting when and how music might be used in a play, doing research, considering form and content

Building a 'sound world' finding and using source music, creating incidental music, choosing the best instrumentation, scoring, utilising technology, writing music to accompany song lyrics

Working on the production understanding the composer's role in rehearsals, collaborating with key creatives, employing actor-musicians, getting the show on

Recording knowing when to record, booking and working with musicians and the studio engineer, running a recording session

Throughout the book, the author draws on his own experience of creating music for a wide variety of plays at the Donmar Warehouse, the National Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, including detailed case studies of his work on The Recruiting Officer, Coriolanus, Privacy, The Winslow Boy, Noises Off and Strange Interlude

The book is also accompanied by online excerpts from his scores.

An essential companion for all composers amateur, student or professional Writing Music for the Stage is also invaluable reading for other theatre professionals, including directors, playwrights, producers, actors, designers and sound designers

In fact, for anyone seeking to understand how music helps to create worlds and tell stories on stage


"This fascinating book ... is bursting with practical advice, good sense and invention. A must-read for all those with an interest in how music works on stage" ~ Mark Gatiss

"A good score makes a world of difference to an actor. Read Michael Bruce's book and you'll understand why. He is a genius" ~ Judi Dench

"Michael's music is wonderful: inclusive, original, respectful and in its rightness sheer joy" ~ Josie Rourke, from her Foreword

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